Semoball

District Deals: Football programs focused on here and now, not down the road

Kennett running back Jordan Jarrett (right) receives directions for Indian football coach Joel Wyatt during drills this past summer at the practice field near Metz Cherry Stadium in Kennett.
Dustin Ward ~ Delta Dunklin Democrat

There is a reason why Kennett football coach Joel Wyatt is an extraordinarily successful coach and not a member of the media or even a fan, per se. His task is to focus on the here and now, not some possible, but not definitive opponent off into the future. However, the Indian Nation – and the rest of the prep football fans (and media) throughout Southeast Missouri had to have had their interest piqued a tad when MSHSAA released its District assignments Monday.

The Indians have won the past two Class 3, District 1 titles but they could face a new opponent this postseason in state-power Valle Catholic, which has moved up from Class 1 to Class 3 due to the “success factor” implemented by MSHSAA.

“I’m not really thinking about (Districts),” Wyatt said. “We kind of knew that it was going to happen. But whether it happened or not, we are just focused on East Prairie right now. I know that sounds cliché’ but that is kind of the way we do things here.”

With good reason.

The Eagles (3-1) will host Kennett (4-0) Friday at 7 p.m. and they are off to a strong start. East Prairie has outscored its opponents by a combined 70 points over the past three weeks and regardless of the fact that his team has dominated the opposition so far (outscoring four teams by an average of 53-7 each week), Wyatt says he doesn’t allow his team to experience “the C-word.”

“Man, I keep my thumb on them,” Wyatt said of his band of teenagers. “I stay on them. It can be draining as a coach. We call it the ‘C-word’ around here. We don’t want to get complacent.”

That means East Prairie – or any other team on Kennett’s schedule – is going to get the Indians' best effort. And that would include Valle Catholic if that game happens.

The Warriors have played for 9 MSHSAA Class 1 state championships over the past 11 seasons and won six titles, including last year’s. In the past two-plus seasons, Kennett and Valle Catholic have combined for 55 victories.

“We just take it game by game,” Wyatt continued. “We say it every week, that we ‘Just want to be 1-0 at the end of the week.’”

The same focused philosophy was echoed by third-year St. Vincent coach Tim Schumer, whose Indians have run headstrong into state-power Hayti in the District 1 postseason each of the past two seasons.

“It’s cool to know and kind of exciting to see who is in your District,” Schumer said. “But especially this year, where there is so much unknown, you take this on a game-by-game basis because you’re not sure what is going to happen.”

That is especially true for Schumer’s kids.

St. Vincent had its season put on hold for two weeks just days before its season-opener due to COVID-19 and then had to come off limited practice and play Valle Catholic in their opener.

“They are just so talented,” Schumer said after losing to the Warriors.

The Indians were supposed to have played Central (Park Hills), Scott City, Valle Catholic, and Herculaneum by now, but instead, they have faced the Warriors and then beat Kelly on Saturday.

Their schedule has been wreaked by the pandemic both due to themselves, as well as other teams.

The Indians will stay on the road this week – sort of – when they travel a few blocks and face rival Perryville Friday at 7 p.m.

Here is a look at the District assignments for the varying sports.

Football

Class 5, District 1

Jackson

Poplar Bluff

Farmington

Seckman

Mehlville

Class 4, District 1

Sikeston

Cape Central

Perryville

North County

DeSoto

Hillsboro

Festus

Class 3, District 1

Kennett

Dexter

Doniphan

Fredericktown

Ste. Genevieve

Class 2, District 1

New Madrid County Central

East Prairie

Charleston

Kelly

Scott City

St. Pius X (Festus)

Jefferson (Festus)

Class 1, District 1

Caruthersville

Hayti

Portageville

Malden

Thayer

Chaffee

St. Vincent

Crystal City

Volleyball

Class 5, District 1

Jackson

Poplar Bluff

Northwest (Cedar Hill)

Seckman

Class 4, District 1

Sikeston

Cape Central

Perryville

Farmington

Class 3, District 1

Kennett

New Madrid County Central

Doniphan

Dexter

Notre Dame

Class 2, District 1

Senath-Hornersville

Caruthersville

Portageville

Malden

Twin Rivers

Class 2, District 2

Bloomfield

Puxico

Greenville

Clearwater

Woodland

Class 2, District 3

East Prairie

Charleston

Scott City

Saxony Lutheran

St. Vincent

Class 1, District 1

Cooter

Delta C-7

Hayti

North Pemiscot

South Pemiscot

Southland

Class 1, District 2

Bernie

Campbell

Clarkton

Gideon

Holcomb

Risco

Class 1, District 3

Advance

Bell City

Leopold

Oan

Richland (Essex)

Zalma

Class 1, District 4

Bismarck

Crystal City

Marquand-Zion

Meadow Heights

Oak Ridge

St. Paul Lutheran

Valley

Class 1, District 5

Bunker

Ellington

Eminence

Lesterville

South Iron

Viburnum

Winona

Cross Country

Class 5, District 1

Fox

Jackson

Lindbergh

Mehlville

Northwest (Cedar Hill)

Oakville

Poplar Bluff

Seckman

Class 4, District 1

Cape Central

DeSoto

Farmignton

Festus

Hillsboro

North County

Notre Dame

Perryville

St. Vincent

Windsor

Class 3, District 1

Bayless

Dexter

Doniphan

Fredericktown

Hancock

Herculaneum

Kelly

Kennett

Lutheran South

Potosi

Ste. Genevieve

Class 2, District 1

Arcadia Valley

Bloomfield

Charleston

Clearwater

East Carter

Greenville

Puxico

Saxony Lutheran

Scott City

Woodland

Class 1, District 1

Advance

Bernie

Bunker

Delta

Ellington

Eminence

Leopold

Naylor

Richald (Essex)

South Iron

Summersville

Van Buren

Winona

Van Buren

Class 1, District 2

Bismarck

Clopton

Crystal City

Marquand-Zion

Meadow Heights

Oak Ridge

Principia

Silex

St. Paul Lutheran

The Fulton School at St. Albans

Valle Catholic

Viburnum

Wellsville-Middletown

Golf

Class 4, District 1

Jackson

Eureka

Fox

Kirkwood

Lafayette (Wildwood)

Lindbergh

Northwest (Cedar Hill)

Notre Dame

Oakville

Parkway South

Seckman

Class 1, District 1

Senath-Hornersville

* Only Semoball-area school in this District

Soccer

Class 4, District 1

Jackson

Northwest (Cedar Hill)

Poplar Bluff

Seckman

Class 3, District 1

Cape Central

Farmington

Notre Dame

Sikeston

Class 2, District 1

Perryville

Saxony Lutheran

Fredericktown

Afton

Softball

Class 5, District 1

Fox

Jackson

Northwest (Cedar Hill)

Notre Dame

Oakville

Poplar Bluff

Seckman

Class 4, District 1

Cape Central

DeSoto

Farmington

Festus

Hillsboro

North County

Sikeston

Class 3, District 1

Fredericktown

Herculaneum

Lutheran South

Notre Dame (St. Louis)

Perryville

Ursuline Academy

Westminster Christian

Class 2, District 1

Alton

Chaffee

East Carter

Gainesville

Kelly

Saxony Lutheran

Twin Rivers

Class 1, District 1

Bakersfield

Dora

Naylor

Neelyville

Norwood

Van Buren

Swimming and Diving

Class 1

Notre Dame

Saxony Lutheran

Cape Central

Jackson

Poplar Bluff

Tennis

Class 3, District 1

Jackson

Cor Jesu Academy

John Burroughs

Lindbergh

Oakville

St. Joseph’s Academy

Class 2, District 1

Cape Central

Farmington

Mehlville

Poplar Bluff

Sikeston

Windsor (Imperial)

Class 1, District 1

Charleston

Dexter

Kennett

Notre Dame

Class 1, District 2

Saxony Lutheran

Arcadia Valley

North County

Fredericktown

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